I think I am a stroller mom.
I have never been good with slings (or baby bjorns for that matter). We received one as a gift when we had Sam, which I used a total of 5 times, including the practice sessions. It’s a good thing the instructions said to practice on top of the bed too, because the first time I think she slipped right through and onto the bed. I had a small heart attack. I would always get back pains and ring pains too from wearing it for 30 minutes (according to the manual, I was doing it wrong). So I gave up and just relied on my stroller.
Nevertheless, I would still bring it around, tucked in the stroller basket, beneath the baby bag that contained half the house — just in case! The stroller had the carseat attached too, since it was easier to lift it with a sleeping Sam, than to pry her out and move her to the stroller while praying desperately that it would not wake her. In the end, I had more gear than baby. Sometimes I wonder how I even made it out.
Soon there will be another baby to travel with, and I don’t know if I can handle all that baby gear… and a toddler! There will have to be some way to contain both girls so I don’t lose either one of them or my sanity.
Option 1: Buckle them both down in a double stroller of sorts. The thing is, the stroller has to be able to accommodate my carseat, in the event that I have another light sleeper on my hands. The only one I’ve found online was the Baby Trend Sit N Stand, however the carseat brand we have doesn’t fit that system. So we may need a new infant carseat (as well as a new stroller? I wonder what Dad will say…). The upside is, anything is sellable on craigslist right?
Option 2: The infant is stuck to me with a sling, and the toddler sits in her current travel stroller which is easy to bring about. The thing is, if I need to run after Sam, then won’t I jiggle the baby silly? That or we both overheat. I will need to find a sling as well that I can live with as a semi-permanent appendage. Some of my friends have told me about good slings they’ve used, like the Baby K’tan, so I guess it’s a matter of picking one and choosing to invest in it.
Option 3: Put Sam on a leash and give Jamie the flexibility to be in a sling or a stroller. We do own a toddler leash, and have used it on occasion, but it isn’t going to stop fingers or toes from getting stuck in the escalator. That worries me. Also, my husband thinks it’s well — inappropriate (and unsafe of course). I’m sure you understand why.
There is an Option 4: Stay home and infect everyone with cabin fever.
I realized that in Manila the equivalent of all this baby gear is a yaya (stay-in nanny) for each child. Rarely will you catch someone with a double-stroller in Manila (unless they have twins). But even then, the yaya is still pushing the gear around. Yayas are your human leashes with long ropes too. Sometimes they act as carseats as well! They are technically a 3-in-1 kind of baby gear at an affordable monthly rate.
But there are no yayas here (for better or for worse), and so a sling might actually be the more affordable investment (not to mention the supposed emotional benefits it brings the mother and child). The Baby K’tan is rated as Babble.com’s best for newborns too, which is when I feel I’ll need it the most. Who knows, if I practice well enough, I just might get the hang of it. The other consolation is, if I develop a back ache, at least my chiropractor is cute.